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Tourist attractions in Paris are closing this weekend as the city braces for another round of violent protests. On Thursday, it was announced via Twitter that the Eiffel Tower would be closed to the public on Saturday due to planned protests. The popular site also clarified that all tickets purchased online would be automatically refunded.
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Similarly, French Culture Minister Franck Riester told TRL radio that the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and Grand Palais will also be closed on Saturday. The Arc de Triomphe remains closed following riots last week when it was vandalized.
“We can’t take the risk when we know the threat,” Riester said, according to Reuters.
A number of shops and restaurants near the Champs Elysées will also be closed on Saturday. “On Friday, workers were seen preparing and securing the area by barricading store windows,” according to ABC News.
These various precautions stem from the violent demonstrations last Saturday of the movement of “yellow vests”. Also known as the “yellow vests” movement, the protests began in opposition to a further increase in fuel taxes. But according to CNN, they have “morphed into a multi-colored movement, with extremist groups jumping on the bandwagon.”
CNN also reports that “among the protesters are anarchists, elements of anti-immigration populists and hardline fascists,” in addition to students demanding changes to the education system and the initial group advocating for tax reform.
During last weekend’s riots, fires broke out in six buildings and 112 vehicles, and a number of shops were looted.
The Associated Press reports that 89,000 police will be deployed across the country on Saturday to help keep the peace, and in Paris they will use armored vehicles. “We are facing people who do not come to protest but to destroy,” said French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
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